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Is Your Child’s Backpack too Heavy?

This past Friday marked the end of the first week of school for Palm Beach county students.  I couldn’t help but notice the immence backpacks that my children (6, 9 and 11) were carrying to school.  Is this healthy?  Can the weight of the backpacks injure them?  I am very concerned about this as Waters Edge Elemntary School and Loggers Run Middle School do NOT have lockers and they do not allow rolling backpacks.  Why?

According to an article appearing in Pediatric Views, located at http://www.childrenshospital.org, “…there’s no proof that backpacks specifically cause children’s back problems.  However, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Physical Therapy Association have set guidelines that should be followed with backpacks to reduce the potential risks associated with them.”

According to an article in about.com, the weight limit for a child’s backpack should not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight.  The same article goes on to mention that you should aim for 5%.  I measured my kids backpack’s and guess what — they ranged from 12.8% – 13.5%.  What can I do about it?  NOTHING!!  The schools will NOT allow rolling backpacks and do not use lockers.  Why not allow rolling backpacks?  I’d rather see the kids slowing down in the hallways because they don’t want to run over one another’s toes rather than seeing them hunched over when their older because of back issues.

I’m not sure whether there’s an answer, but it sounds like the Palm Beach County School District may have some explaining to do if some of their student’s are affected by their decision(s) not to allow rolling backpacks or an alternative that “makes sense”.

If you happen to be in the same situation as I, make sure you take the necessary precautions — such as — making sure the backpacks have padded straps, get as wide a strap for the backpack as possible and make sure the child is using BOTH straps to carry the backpack.

Isn’t is crazy that I actually have to write about this?  Shouldn’t the District do something about this?  What do you think?

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Rick Schuster

Licensed Real Estate Broker –  Jaycee Realty, Inc.
Licensed Title Insurance Agent – Home Guardian Title, Inc.
Licensed Mortgage Broker – Leading Edge Mortgage Corp

20283 State Road 7 – Ste 400
Boca Raton, FL 33498561-206-2835 – via Google Voice
561-988-2546 -Fax

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